Friday, May 27, 2005

Warmth on a cool night courtesy of the head honcho of the CDB | MUSIC REVIEW: Charlie Daniels Band: "MUSIC REVIEW: Charlie Daniels Band BY TOM NETHERLAND"
Round about 7:30 Wednesday night, Charlie Daniels sat and smiled. About 25 lucky fans crammed into a tiny trailer and scored autographs and snapshots with the ever-affable legend with the Santa Claus smile. He looked as happy to meet them as they were to meet him.

Meanwhile, a crowd of about 6,000 hearty souls braved occasional rain and subsequent mud in wait of the Charlie Daniels Band's annual show at Innsbrook. They didn't wait long.

Daniels signed his last signature and ambled to the stage. In his white cowboy hat, boots, blue shirt, jeans and belt buckle as large as a Lincoln, Daniels looked like a country king ready to face his folks.

Yes, his folks. Blue-collar Americans with dirt under the fingernails and drive in their bones. Not just any fan would sit and soak up the rain.

With guitar -- Sunburst Gibson Les Paul -- strapped on, the 68-year-old Southern rocking country boy took the stage at 8 sharp. For 90 minutes and through 35 years of hits, Daniels boogied and bared his soul one song at a time.

Dark clouds hovered low, but the rain went elsewhere. Early on, Daniels reached back to 1974 for "Trudy." Hat shading his eyes, the barrel-bellied North Carolinian leaned in on the sizzling Southern rocker and would have brought the house down had he been in one. In sports parlance, Daniels brought his A-game.

Hot off last weekend's appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, Daniels was still going as if playing to an Opry crowd. From a sinewy-to-scalding "Legend of Wooley Swamp" smack dab through the show-capping "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," Daniels played like Shaquille O'Neal slamming home one dunk after another.

He prefaced his indelibly relevant "Simple Man" ("We tell our kids to just say no, then some panty waist judge lets a drug dealer go") with a statement on where he stands.

"I make it my business to be as dad-blamed politically incorrect as I can be," Daniels said. "I think the lowest form of life on this planet is a child molester, and that the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist."

Daniels later thrilled the throng with what must have been his many-thousandth performances of "Long Haired Country Boy" and "The South's Gonna Do It (Again)." Enthusiasm sprang forth from his gut and through his fingers on the latter, alighting his fiddle and the crowd alike.

Ah, warmth on a cool night courtesy of the head honcho of the CDB.

Read the full review at the link above. Tom's got it going on! I don't know what part of this article is my favorite. The Charlie playing like Shaq dunks line paints a pretty good picture, but so does the description of Charlie as a country king facing his folks. The great part is you can experience this from Richmond to Redding. Great review!

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